Preview build 25977 is out in the Canary channel (the earliest test version of Windows 11) and comes with the ability to let someone join your Wi-Fi just by scanning a QR code.
How it works is you head to Wi-Fi properties, and when looking at the Wi-Fi password, a QR code is now displayed. All guests need to do to log on to the Wi-Fi network is scan that QR code with their device’s camera, and it’s done.
So, there’s no need to manually enter the password for your Wi-Fi router or to have to dive into Settings and the Network and Sharing Center and fiddle around in those submenus either. It’s a much more convenient method, in short.
Another Wi-Fi-related change is happening in this preview build, this time pertaining to privacy.
Microsoft has introduced functionality to let you manage the apps that have access to the list of Wi-Fi networks in your local area (as those networks could be used to pinpoint where you are in the real world). If you don’t want an application to have that power, you can simply block it (this ability lives under Settings > Privacy & security > Location).
There’s more on the wireless front, but this time with Bluetooth, as this Windows 11 preview has ushered in support for using Bluetooth Low Energy Audio hearing aids.
If you own such a device, you can now directly pair it with your PC in order to stream audio, take calls, and so on, which is very cool. You’ll need to own a Windows 11 device that supports Bluetooth Low Energy Audio, though.
For the full list of changes and small tweaks here and there, there’s the usual lengthy blog post provided by Microsoft.
Analysis: A new spin on the globe, too
Some of those extra tweaks include a small but pretty useful one which is also worth noting. You know the internet connection icon in the system tray, on the far right-hand side of the taskbar?
Currently, if there’s no connection, it’s a disconnected globe icon, but the slight change is that if the PC is in the process of connecting – but isn’t yet connected – you’ll see an animation to indicate this. In other words, the globe will only appear if you’re definitely offline and no connection is present, or in the process of coming into being.
There’s some useful work on the network side of things here, then, particularly the addition of quick logins for Wi-Fi with that QR code (something that has been available on Android for some time now, as you may be aware).
While we’re picking up on smaller details, it’s worth mentioning that for testers actually intending to grab this Canary build, there’s a big issue on the gaming front. Microsoft observes that “some popular games may not work correctly” with build 25977 (and indeed possibly recent builds just before it).
We aren’t told which of the best PC games these might be, but it’s certainly something to be aware of if you indulge in a spot of gaming on your rig.
Via Windows Latest